Home Bank of California Review: Checking, Savings, CD, Money Market, and IRA Accounts

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Updated on Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Home Bank of California’s checking account option

Interest Checking

A basic checking account that pays a small amount of interest.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0%$500
  • Minimum opening deposit: $500
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $8, unless you keep at least $1,000 in your checking account or $5,000 in combined balances across your checking, savings, or CD accounts.
  • ATM fee: None, but you may have to pay a surcharge fee unless you use an ATM owned by U.S. Bank, a partner of Home Bank of California.
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $25 per item. If you set up overdraft transfers, you will only be charged $10 per transfer.

To avoid a fee, you’ll need to keep at least $1,000 in this account at all times, or at least $5,000 in combined deposits across all of your checking, savings, and CD accounts. If you’re not able to do that, you’ll have to pay an $8 monthly fee, which would most likely more than swamp out any earnings you’d get from the interest.

Home Bank of California is a tiny bank, and doesn’t even offer an ATM at its sole branch location. Instead, it’s partnered with U.S. Bank to allow you to use any of these ATMs surcharge-free. If you use any other ATMs, you’ll be on your own to pay the surcharge fee, since Home Bank of California doesn’t offer any ATM fee refunds on any of its accounts.

How to get Home Bank of California’s Interest Checking account

If you’re interested in opening this account, you’ll need to go to the Ruffin Road branch location in San Diego, California; the bank does not currently support online applications.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Home Bank Of California’s secure website

Member FDIC

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How Home Bank of California’s checking account compares

If you’re looking to earn the highest interest rate possible with your checking account, there’s no doubt about it: Home Bank of California doesn’t even come close to the top-yielding checking accounts out there today.

As far as ATM policies go, it’s understandable that the bank doesn’t operate a huge network of ATMs itself. But other banks and credit unions are in this situation as well, and many at least offer some form of ATM rebates to compensate you for when you inevitably have to use an out-of-network ATM. We wish that Home Bank of California did this, but sadly, it does not.

Home Bank of California’s savings account option

Statement Savings

This interest rate is too low to be worth your time and money.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0%$50
  • Minimum opening deposit: $50
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $50
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $5 per quarter, unless you keep at least $50 in the account.
  • ATM fee: None, but you may have to pay a surcharge fee unless you use an ATM owned by U.S. Bank, a partner of Home Bank of California.
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $25 per item. If you set up overdraft transfers, you will only be charged $10 per transfer.

Home Bank of California makes this savings account accessible to most people by requiring just a $50 deposit to get started. That’s about where the niceties with this account end, however.First, there’s the service fee. If you don’t keep at least $50 in the account, you’ll have to pay a $5 fee once per quarter. You’re allowed up to six certain withdrawals per month per Regulation D, and for each withdrawal after that, you’ll have to pay a $5 per withdrawal to the bank.

How to get Home Bank of California’s Statement Savings account

To apply for this account you’ll need to visit the Home Bank of California branch if you live in San Diego, California.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Home Bank Of California’s secure website

Member FDIC

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How Home Bank of California’s savings account compares

The top high-yielding savings accounts are offering interest rates miles above the one at this bank. Most of these savings accounts also have no minimum balance requirements, so you can feel free to save up the cash you need and take out as much of it as you need, when you need it. That’s just not something you can do at Home Bank of California, and that’s why we recommend you look for another bank for more consumer-friendly policies.

Home Bank of California’s CD rates

Certificates of Deposit

These CDs offer terrible interest rates on CDs under a year in length, but decent rates on CD terms of over a year.
TermAPY for balances between $2,500-$9,999.99APY for balances $10,000 and over
  1-2 monthsNA0.10%
3-5 months0.10%0.10%
6-8 months0.10%0.10%
9-11 months0.10%0.10%
12-17 months0.20%0.40%
18-23 months0.25%0.50%
24-35 months0.35%0.60%
36-47 months0.45%0.70%
48-59 months0.50%0.75%
60 months0.55%0.80%
  • Minimum opening deposit: Either $2,500 or $10,000, depending on the CD
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $2,500
  • Early withdrawal penalty: Six months’ worth of interest, regardless of the CD’s term length

If you bank with Home Bank of California and want to earn the most bang for your buck, these CDs are the way to do it — as long as you open a CD for more than a year. Otherwise, there’s not really much difference in interest rates between the short-term CDs and the savings account.

There are two tier levels for these CDs, depending on how large your initial deposit is. All CD terms are available for each tier level, except for the 1-2 month CD. If you’re interested in that CD, you’ll need to deposit at least $10,000 in the CD to open it.

When your CD matures, Home Bank of California will give you a seven-day grace period to withdraw the money if you wish. After that, the CD will automatically be renewed for another term, and you’ll have to wait until the next maturity date in order to access your cash penalty-free.

How to get Home Bank of California’s CDs

To open one of these CDs, you’ll need to visit Home Bank of California in person. It’s located in San Diego, California.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Home Bank Of California’s secure website

Member FDIC

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How Home Bank of California’s CD rates compare

We wouldn’t suggest opening a short-term CD at Home Bank of California because there’s no advantage to it — you’re just locking your money up for a month at a time, all to earn the same interest rate as the savings account that you can access for free whenever you want.

As for its longer-term CDs, they’re not terrible rates. Still, they’re a far cry from being the top-yielding CDs out there. It would be worth your time in considering these higher-earning CDs, especially since you’ll be locking your money away for a while. You might as well get the best interest rate you can in that case.

Home Bank of California’s Money Market account option

Super Money Fund

This money market account doesn’t come with checks.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0%$0.01
0.30%$1,000.01
  • Minimum opening deposit: $1,000
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $0.01
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $5 per quarter, unless you keep at least $50 in your account.
  • ATM fee: None, but you may have to pay a surcharge fee unless you use an ATM owned by U.S. Bank, a partner of Home Bank of California.
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $25 per item. If you set up overdraft transfers, you will only be charged $10 per transfer.

Home Bank of California’s Super Money Fund isn’t a true money market account because it doesn’t offer checks; that means it’s essentially just a high-falutin’ savings account. And just like the savings account, this account comes with withdrawal limitations imposed by federal Regulation D. You are allowed to make up to six certain withdrawals per month out of this account, and each withdrawal thereafter will come with a $5 penalty imposed by the bank.

Still, if you have at least $1,000 to keep in your account, you can earn a higher rate with this one instead. It’s not much higher, but at least it’s something.

How to get Home Bank of California’s Super Money Fund account

You’ll need to apply for this account in person at Home Bank of California’s sole branch. It does not accept phone or online applications.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Home Bank Of California’s secure website

Member FDIC

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How Home Bank of California’s money market account compares

The Home Bank of California offers poor interest rates on its money market account. It’s also doubly unfortunate that this account doesn’t come with checks like most money market accounts — in fact, that’s why many people choose money market accounts over savings accounts.

If you’d like to learn more about other higher-yielding savings accounts (that do offer checks), we’d recommend one of these money market accounts instead of this Super Money Fund account.

Home Bank of California’s IRA account options

IRA CD

It’s easier to get started with these IRA CDs because the minimum opening deposit is much lower.
TermAPY
18-23 months0.50%
24-35 months0.60%
36-47 months0.70%
48-59 months0.75%
60 months0.80%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $500
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $0.01
  • Early withdrawal penalty: Six months’ worth of interest, regardless of the CD’s term length

IRA CDs can be a great FDIC-insured way to save for your retirement. Home Bank of California makes it just a bit easier to get started, because it only requires a $500 opening deposit to open an IRA CD — versus at least $2,500 for its regular CDs.

Home Bank of California also offers slightly higher rates on some of its IRA CDs as compared to its regular CDs. Another difference is that you can’t open short-term IRA CDs: the shortest-term IRA CD you can open is 18 months. Normally that’d be a bit of an annoyance, but since most people open longer-term IRA CDs to save, it’s probably not that big of a deal for most folks.

You’ll get a short seven-day grace period to withdraw or roll over the money to a new IRA after it matures. If you don’t do anything, the IRA CD will automatically roll over for another term length after the seven-day period is up.

How to get Home Bank of California’s IRA CDs

To open this account, please visit the Ruffin Road headquarters for Home Bank of California.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Home Bank Of California’s secure website

Member FDIC

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How Home Bank of California’s CD rates compare

Home Bank of California offers decent rates on its IRA CDs. But, just like with the regular CDs, it’s always a good idea to open the highest-yielding IRA CD you can find.

There are a few reasons for this. First, it’s easier to house your IRA CDs at separate banks than, say, a checking account, because it’s essentially a one-and-done transaction. Second, it’s important to find the best return for your retirement savings; most people don’t save enough already, and a less-than-optimal interest rate will only compound this. That’s why we recommend you look elsewhere for your IRA CD needs.

Overall review of Home Bank of California’s banking products

Home Bank of California is a small hometown bank, but you’ll pay to access it with low-yielding accounts, and potentially high fees.

This bank also has interesting interest rate schedules. For example, its checking account offers a higher interest rate than its savings account — so are you supposed to keep all of your savings in a checking account instead? For most people, that would be too much of a temptation to spend, but you’ll also miss out on interest rate returns if you don’t do so.

All of these factors mean that we can’t wholeheartedly recommend Home Bank of California for deposit accounts. There are just too many other banks out there that offer better interest rates and lower fees.

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